Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for adult ADHD

Status: Strong Research Support


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for adult ADHD provides concrete strategies and skills for coping with the core symptoms of ADHD (inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity) and associated impairment in social, occupational, educational, and other domains. Components of CBT for ADHD include psychoeducation, training in organization, planning, and time management, problem solving skills, techniques for reducing distractivity and increasing attention span, and cognitive restructuring particularly around situations that cause distress.

Key References (in reverse chronological order)

  • Emilsson, B., Gudjonsson, G., Sigurdsson, J.F., Baldursson, G., Einarsson, E., Olafsdottir, H., & Young, S. (2011). Cognitive behaviour therapy in medicationtreated adults with ADHD and persistent Symptoms: A randomized controlled trial. BMC Psychiatry, 11, 116.
  • Safren, S.A., Sprich, S., Mimiaga, M.J., Surman, C., Knouse, L., Groves, M., & Otto M.W. (2010). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs Relaxation With Educational Support for Medication-Treated Adults With ADHD and Persistent Symptom Journal of the American Medical Association, 304, 875–880.
  • Solanto, M.V., Marks, D.J., Wasserstein, J., Mitchell, K., Abikoff, H., Alvir, J.M.J., & Kofman, M.D. (2010).  American Journal of Psychiatry, 167, 958-968.
  • Safren, S.A., Otto, M.W., Sprich, S., Winett, C.L., Wilens, T.E., & Biederman, J. (2005). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for ADHD in medication-treated adults with continued symptoms. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 43, 831-842.

Clinical Resources

  • Safren SA, Perlman CA, Sprich S, Otto MW. Mastering Your Adult ADHD: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2005.
  • Safren SA, Sprich S, Perlman CA, Otto MW. Mastering Your Adult ADHD: A Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program Client Workbook. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2005.
  • Solanto, M.V. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD: Targeting Executive Dysfunction. New York, NY: The Guilford Press; 2011.

Training Opportunities

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